The latest research results and expert insights about housing and community development issues. 
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Fall 2014

Homelessness Continues to Decline in the US- Especially Among Veterans

The number of people who experienced chronic or long-term homelessness declined by 30 percent between 2007 and 2014, according to The 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR), the first of a two-part report produced annually by Abt Associates in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The report, which uses counts of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2014, found that more than 578,000 people were homeless in the United States—an 11 percent decline since 2007.
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HUD Releases Data Set on Assisted Housing and Homelessness

This summer, HUD posted the data set generated from Abt research conducted for the Study of Public Housing Agencies’ (PHAs) Efforts to Serve People Experiencing Homelessness. The data set is drawn from a web-based survey administered to the universe of PHAs during the summer of 2012 to generate a baseline understanding of the extent to which PHAs were prioritizing homeless households for housing assistance though the Public Housing or Housing Choice Voucher programs. The survey data set allows researchers and practitioners to explore further analyses of how PHAs manage their waiting lists and how they apply preferences for program admission.

New Reports on Medicaid Expansion and Homelessness

This August, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released two reports: Medicaid and Permanent Supportive Housing for Chronically Homeless: Emerging Practices from Field and A Primer on Using Medicaid for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness and Tenants of Permanent Supportive Housing. Co-authored by Abt Principal Associate Gretchen Locke, these reports demonstrate how PSH programs and their government partners can overcome barriers to using Medicaid to fund services in PSH, what kind of systems change this involves, and which program models are most cost-effective and likely to be sustainable.
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What We're Writing About

Housing Policy Debate Journal Article on the Future of the FHA
Jonathan Spader and Jill Khadduri
"Three Visions for the Future of the FHA" is a commentary on three articles examining the past and the future of the Federal Housing Administration. The article appears in the Housing Policy Debate, 2014, vol. 24, issue 3, pages 663-665.

Book Chapter in Homeownership Built to Last
Jeffrey Lubell
Abt’s Jeffrey Lubell was part of a team of experts contributing to a book reexamining the goals and rewards of homeownership in the aftermath of the housing crisis. His chapter, "Filling the Void Between Homeownership and Rental Housing: A Case for Expanding the Use of Shared Equity Homeownership," focuses on an alternative to traditional homeownership that offers many of the benefits at a lower cost and lower risk.

What We’re Talking About

2014 APPAM Fall Research Conference
November 6-8, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Abt is a major participant in this fall’s APPAM research conference. Senior Associate Jonathan Spader is a panelist discussing Homebuying Regulation, Education, and Access to Credit: Protecting Low-Income Homebuyers from Exploitation and Removing Barriers to Home Ownership. Principal Associate Laura Peck, a leading expert on research methodology, will chair the panel discussion on When Is a Result “Significant”?
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Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy
September 15-16, Washington, DC
At the 2014 Housing Summit, Abt’s Jeffrey Lubell presented on a series of strategies for serving more households more effectively within current resources. The common idea underlying these diverse strategies is the importance of moving from a static approach to addressing problems of the moment to a longer-term approach that focuses on meeting the long-term needs of individuals and households, securing the long-term affordability of properties, and taking advantage of opportunities presented by neighborhood change. Stay tuned for more information on this more dynamic approach to housing policy.

In House

By Jeffrey Lubell

Taking Housing Linkages Seriously

If we really want to expand support for affordable housing, we need to take the intersections between housing and other social policies more seriously and be willing to think differently about how we design our housing programs to better achieve these broader goals.
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New Faces

Joyce Probst MacAlpine, an Associate at Abt, has 22 years of experience in housing policy and development, and homeless system management. At Abt, she is involved in analyzing the current state of coordinated assessment implementation nationally and in developing tools to assist communities to end homelessness for veterans and other households.  
Hannah Thomas, a Senior Analyst at Abt, is a sociologist with expertise in community development finance, homeownership and wealth building. She brings methodological expertise in semi-structured and unstructured interviewing, ethnography and institutional ethnography. At Abt she is working to understand the mortgage journeys of homebuyers.

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At Home is a quarterly e-newsletter from the Housing and Communities Practice at Abt Associates. Here you'll find the latest research results and expert insights about housing and community development issues.
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